Since arriving as Liverpool manager in October, Jurgen Klopp has handed a host of youngsters their senior debut.
The German manager hasn’t had too much choice but to put faith in some academy graduates with the Reds reaching the final of the Capital One Cup, the semi-finals of the Europa League as well as still hoping to finish in a European position in the league.
One of the youngsters that has been handed an opportunity is 19-year-old Cameron Brannagan.
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The midfielder joined Anfield at the age of five and made his first-team debut under previous manager Brendan Rodgers when he came off the bench against Bordeaux earlier this season.
Brannagan signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2018 one day before Klopp arrived at Liverpool and the former Borussia Dortmund boss appeared to take to the youngster immediately.
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Klopp's first impressions
“I saw enough (of Brannagan) that I can say congratulations to both sides for this new contract. He's a great young guy. I like his style,” Klopp told reporters, per the Liverpool Echo.
“For his age he brings everything you need for a midfield player he wants to play football, he's strong, he's clear, he's cool. It's not easy for these guys to train for the first time with a new manager and think always 'he's going to make a final judgement' or something like this. That's not how I work but these guys don't know this.
“I enjoy working with these guys. He's really a talent.
“We have to give these players enough time for development, for improvement, it's really, really important,” he added.
Six months on, and Klopp has reiterated how highly he rates the hot prospect by calling him an “outstanding talent” in his press conference ahead of his first Merseyside derby.
Interest from Barcelona
Brannagan has played five times under Klopp and it’s not just the manager he’s been impressing, it seems.
Earlier this month, Spanish newspaper Sport were reporting that Barcelona had sent scouts to watch the youngster during Liverpool’s Under-21 clash against Leicester.
While it remains to be seen whether Brannagan’s performance on that day was enough to attract a formal offer from the Catalan club, his reputation across Europe suggests he has a bright future ahead of him.
And, if Klopp is willing to single him out for praise in a press conference ahead of a derby, it suggests just how much he rates him.
Although he’s yet to make an appearance in the Premier League, it surely won’t be long until he does if his reputation is anything to go by.
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